With 2006’s “Haunt of Horror: Edgar Allan Poe,” legendary artist Richard Corben reimagined some of the visionary writer’s classic tales of terror. In June 2008, Corben will turn his eye to the stories of another renowned and highly influential horror writer, H.P. Lovecraft, with the release of the “Haunt of Horror: Lovecraft” mini-series from Marvel Comics MAX line. CBR News spoke with Editor Daniel Ketchum about the series.
“Lovecraft” was always intended to be the follow up to the previous “Poe” series and will be published in the exact same format. “It will be three issues. In each issue you’ll have three different pieces by Richard Corben as well as the original source text by H.P. Lovecraft,” Ketchum told CBR News. “With each story, Richard has been true to the different core elements of the source text, but in typical fashion he’s put his own twist and signature stylings on each story
“The idea was that in each one of these issues we’d have an adaptation of a short story and the other two are generally based on Lovecraft’s poems,” Ketchum continued. “So we’re hoping in that any given issue there’s at least one Lovecraft work that fans will recognize.”
Marvel and Corben jointly decided which stories would be part of “Haunt of Horror: Lovecraft.” “Obviously we had to play in the bounds of what we could legally do because only certain works were in the public domain. Also the stories we ended up choosing were dependant on which stories really lent themselves to doing something different visually,” Ketchum explained. “But Richard had a whole list of Lovecraft stories and poems that he wanted to adapt and we went through and kind of selected the best ones. Some were very easy like the story ‘Dagon’ rose right to the top as one he’d do. And ‘Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family’ was one as well.”
“What’s nice about Lovecraft and his stories is there’s room to dive into a number of different worlds,” Ketchum continued. “‘Dagon’ brings us this aquatic, amphibian race of people. ‘Arthur Jermyn’ takes place more in a jungle type setting. Than we have an adaptation of ‘The Lamp’ which takes us into the pyramids and deserts of ancient Egypt. So over the course of the three issues we’ll see a variety of settings, creatures, and modes of stories.”
On “Poe,” Corben provided all the visuals and co-wrote the series with Rich Margopulos, but on “Lovecraft,” Corben will handle both the text and visuals all on his own.
Ketchum has been consistently wowed by Corben’s visual interpretations of Lovecraft’s stories. “With Lovecraft, there’s all that interesting Lovecraftian imagery and Richard has been able to go to town on it,” Ketchum said. “I’m really impressed and kind of awed by everything that has come in so far.”
H.P. Lovecraft’s tales are often dark, macabre stories where the protagonist’s exposure to forbidden knowledge drives them insane. Ketchum feels publishing “Haunt of Horror: Lovecraft” under the MAX imprint allows the series to be as dark and horrific as it needs to be to capture the spirit of the original tales.
Ketchum hopes “Haunt of Horror: Lovecraft” will appeal to fans of the celebrated author and create some new Lovecraft fans as well. “Oddly enough I wasn’t so familiar with Lovecraft before this project,” he said. “I think my fun as an editor on this project was doing the research. I got to be exposed to all these different Lovecraft stories. So hopefully readers will get to have that same kind of experience. There will be some old favorites but they’ll also be exposed to some things that are new as well.”
Marvel is leaving the door open for Corben to do more “Haunt of Horror” mini-series after “Lovecraft.” “We’ll have to see. We’re always batting ideas around,” Ketchum said. “This is Richard’s element so I wouldn’t be surprised if there was another series somewhere down the line.”
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